Where Is It?
The Maldives, an island paradise extraordinaire with its 26 atolls and 300 islands, this Indian Ocean jewel has one of the most abundant congregations of marine life on the planet. Due to the monsoon current that provides nutrient rich waters for the diverse flora and fauna of the Maldives giant manta rays mass at the cleaning stations, providing divers one of the most impressive spectacles they will ever behold. With its diverse marine landscapes; from shallow lagoons, to deep walls and colourful reef systems, the Maldives is, and will always be one of the most impressive locations for all ocean lovers.
When To Go?
Most liveaboards operate from November to May due to certain reasons. The wet season runs from May to August, and rain, winds and waves can create poorer visibility, yet diving is still impressive and water temperatures high, with temperatures reaching 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit). The best visibility is often seen in the dry season from December to March, with less runoff from the islands, visibility can exceed 40 metres (150 feet). Despite the better visibility the season with the most abundant marine life is in May where the plankton booms and the mantas and whale sharks congregate around the islands.
Dive Sites In The Maldives
An atoll with a huge variety of dives, being part of the Aggressor experience will allow divers to cover large areas of ocean and find unspoiled spots. Over 10 species of shark have been recorded on this atoll, from grey reef sharks to tiger sharks. In the spring months seasonal winds and currents bring the opportunity to encounter the majestic manta ray in clear and warm waters. Dive locations that are particularly rich in species and strong in current include Kuredu Express and Kuredu Caves.
The atoll where the Aggressor fleet will spend the majority of its time is Noon. One of the more undiscovered areas full of seamounts and steep walls, there are also many a unique coral reef. The chance to see whale sharks and vast shoals of pelagic fish is often common here, especially on sites such as Christmas Rock and Orimas Thila.
A shark lovers paradise, Ari Atoll has emerged as one of the premier spots to witness a plethora of shark species. Hammerheads and Reef sharks have flourished in recent years due to the Maldives’ protection of various parts of the atoll. Larger marine species such as the mantas and whale sharks are more prevalent in the western bounds of the atoll where deep pelagic waters are the norm. Smaller critters and macro life are known to reside in the shallow reefs and lagoons of the eastern side of the atoll. Moofushi Kandu (Manta Point) is perhaps the most famous of the Ari dives where mantas hover over the cleaning station at a depth of 20 metres (70 feet).
How To Get There?
Most guests will arrive to Male International Airport where they will be met by Aggressor staff and taken to the Maldives Aggressor ship at Hulumale Lagoon. Each guest must be aware that Port and Park fees range from 290 – 350 dollars.